CDC relies on honor system for booster shot eligibility

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WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 11: Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing to discuss the ongoing federal response to COVID-19 on May 11, 2021 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images)

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UPDATED 9:52 AM PT – Saturday, September 25, 2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is relying on the honor system to determine which individuals will receive the Pfizer COVID-19 booster shot first. The agency announced on Friday, it’s recommending booster shots for individuals 65-years of age and older, people who work in high-risk environments and living situations, among others.

It’s also advising boosters for individuals with underlying medical conditions who are 50 and older. While Director Rochelle Walensky has said those who self-attest to being eligible will receive booster shots, but did not further clarify the CDC’s vetting process.

“Many of our frontline workers, essential workers and those in congregate settings come from communities that have already been hardest hit. Withholding access for boosters from these people and communities would only worsen the inequities that I have committed to fight against,” said Walensky.

Walensky also denied overruling an agency advisory panel, which did not recommend booster shots for frontline workers.

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